Book Review: Warcross

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Synopsis:

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down Warcross players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty-hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. To make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

In this sci-fi thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu conjures an immersive, exhilarating world where choosing who to trust may be the biggest gamble of all.

Purchase From:

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Review

I am a big fan of Marie Lu so it broke my heart that I missed the opportunity to get an ARC of her newest novel, Warcross, at BookCon. However, the wait was totally worth it and now I’m kind of glad I didn’t get to read it early because I NEED THE SEQUEL YESTERDAY!

Okay, so this is going to be a brief, vague review because I don’t want to spoil anything or give anything away. Here’s what you need to know, besides the fact that you absolutely must read this book immediately. The protagonist is Emika and the story is told solely from her point of view and this is the first story Lu has done in this style and I absolutely loved it.

At the start of the novel, Emika is struggling. She’s broker than broke and unfortunately her one shot at getting the money she needed to pay her rent slips right through her fingers. Because of this, she ends up attempting to do a very risky hack during the opening ceremony of the international Warcross championships. Warcross is this crazy virtual game that pretty much every one in the world plays using these glasses with what’s called Neurolink. Essentially, the glasses let you escape the real world and enter the world of Warcross.

Emika’s hack goes awry, however, and she ends up revealing herself to the world. But instead of getting arrested (again), Warcross creator Hideo decides to hire her to try to find Zero, a hacker that’s threatening the game. Next thing she knows she’s on one of the international teams competing in the Warcross games while on the hunt for Zero, who she soon realizes is more dangerous than she first thought.

Filled with action, romance, and twists that kept me up late reading because I COULDN’T PUT THIS BOOK DOWN, Warcross is one of my favorite books by Lu (The Midnight Star is still my all-time fave). I can’t wait to see what happens next in this incredible world she’s created and there’s so much more I want to know about these characters. If you haven’t picked up Warcross yet, I highly recommend you pick it up ASAP and then come back here so we can discuss that ending.

Borrow or Buy: Buy it immediately!

Stars:

5 stars

Favorite Line:

“Everything’s science fiction until someone makes it science fact.”

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'The Midnight Star' Review

Book Review: The Midnight Star

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Synopsis:

There was once a time when darkness shrouded the world, and the darkness had a queen.

Adelina Amouteru is done suffering. She’s turned her back on those who have betrayed her and achieved the ultimate revenge: victory. Her reign as the White Wolf has been a triumphant one, but with each conquest her cruelty only grows. The darkness within her has begun to spiral out of control, threatening to destroy all she’s gained.

When a new danger appears, Adelina’s forced to revisit old wounds, putting not only herself at risk, but every Elite. In order to preserve her empire, Adelina and her Roses must join the Daggers on a perilous quest—though this uneasy alliance may prove to be the real danger.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository

Review

*Warning: There will be minimal spoilers about The Rose Society in this review. Read at your own risk.*

I don’t think I’ve ever been so satisfied with the conclusion to a series before. The Midnight Star was the perfect end to this trilogy. It was everything I wanted and more. Literally when I finished it I cried because it was absolutly amazing and I was so sad it was over. I truly want to read it again right now but alas there’s so many other books I must read. Seriously though, I need to everyone to read this trilogy; it’s truly a work of art.

Okay, now that the fangirling is out of the way let’s get down to it. I had the opportunity to go to the NYC launch of The Midnight Star and meet Marie Lu, which was amazing. At the event she said this book was the darkest one in the trilogy and the hardest for her to write and I can believe it. This book went dark. Adelina’s mind is totally corrupted, both from her actions but also from her abilities. Her visions/illusions are out of control and it’s kind of heartbreaking to watch, despite all that Adelina has done.

Differently than The Rose Society, The Midnight Star jumps ahead a year from where The Rose Society left off. This kind of threw me off a little bit but the time jump kind of made sense. In this novel we got a lot of point of views including Adelina, Maeve, Raffaele, Teren, Magiano, and Violetta, however all of these were necessary for a reason and we got some POVs more than others. My love for Magiano only grew with this novel and he’s my absolute fave. The romance in this book was perfect but the plot itself was also fantastic. There was great action, mystery, and we learned a lot about the Elites and where their powers came from. What made me the most happy was the explanation behind the title. At the launch event Lu said she couldn’t explain the title without spoilers and I’m so glad she left it a mystery because finding out the truth behind it was so worth it. That’s partially why I cried, to be honest.

This story was so well done and I’m happy with how this story ended for all the characters. Please read this series if you haven’t yet. It’s so worth it!

Stars:

5 stars

Favorite Line:

“You cannot harden your heart to the future just because of your past. You cannot use cruelty against yourself to justify cruelty to others.”

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'The Rose Society' Book Review

Book Review: The Rose Society

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Synopsis:

Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all.

Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers who nearly killed her.

But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good, when her very existence depends on darkness?

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository

Review

*Warning: There will be minimal spoilers about The Young Elites in this review. Read at your own risk.*

As much as I loved the Legend trilogy I love The Young Elites trilogy even more. Marie Lu has created a dark fantasy that completely sucks you in and won’t let go until the very last page. The Rose Society is once again told in different perspectives but only Adelina’s is told in the first person. In this novel we also hear from Teren, Maeve, and Raffaele, which gives us a lot of interesting perspectives.

We also met new characters like Sergio and Magiano and Magiano is my new fave. In this novel we learned a lot more about the Elites and their abilities and got to see new ones at work. More importantly though we got to see more Adelina’s power and how’s she really becoming a villain. In the first novel I really sympathized with Adelina and even though I knew she did bad things I didn’t see her as a bad person.

In The Rose Society, however, Adelina seems to take a step further into the darkness and honestly I kind of loved it. This book was really dark and kept me on the edge of my seat. I never knew how far Adelina would go with her plans and I was so conflicted in rooting for and also hoping she failed. Also, the battles and fight scenes in this novel were amazing. We really got to see a lot of the Elites powers go to work but also swords and daggers were put to good use.

Overall, I absolutely loved this novel and I cannot wait to get my hands on The Midnight Star. I need to know how it all ends and what happens to Adelina and my favorite Elites. As much as I want a happy ending for Adelina I’m not sure she deserves. I’m really interested to see how Lu ends this trilogy because I have no idea where it’s heading. Definitely pick up this trilogy if you haven’t already. It’s worth a read!

Stars:

5 stars

Favorite Line:

“But true rulers are not born. We are made.”

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Book Review: Champion

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Synopsis from Amazon:

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps Elect while Day has been assigned a high level military position. But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them once again. Just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything he has. With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

*Note: If you haven’t read Prodigy by Marie Lu, there will be spoilers! You’ve been warned.*

Champion starts a few months after the end of Prodigy and it’s been a while since Day and June have seen each other. After being told he was dying Day thought it would be better to leave June because he didn’t want to hold her back from accepting the Princeps-Elect position Elector Anden had offered her. Of course, June doesn’t know any of this and just knows that Day broke up with her.

But now Day needs to go back because the Republic and the Colonies peace treaty is falling apart and they need Day’s help. June has to ask Day to consider doing the impossible and in doing so it brings back a whole lot of tension between them that they’ve tried to keep at bay.

I loved June and Day’s relationship. It’s really complicated but also filled with love. Plus they come from such different backgrounds and complement each other perfectly. I’m so glad this trilogy is told in their alternating POVs because they have such different perspectives on everything.

I don’t want to spoil anything so I don’t want to say too much but this book was filled with action, a decent amount of romance but not too much, and the ending was different than I expected but still really good. Definitely a buy for me.

Borrow or Buy: Buy!

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“Billions of people will come and go in this world but there will never be another like you.”

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Prodigy Book Review

Book Review: Prodigy

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Synopsis from Amazon:

June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

*This book is part of my POPSUGAR 2016 Reading Challenge.*

*SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t read Legend yet, there will be minor spoilers from that book in this review. You’ve been warned!*

It’s been a while since I read Legend so I was worried I wouldn’t remember everything. Thankfully, Prodigy picks up right where Legend left off and everything came back to me immediately. June and Day are looking for the Patriots because they need help to save Day’s brother, Eden. In this book we really see the differences between June and Day and I really enjoyed that.

For Day, who’s been poor his whole life, he hates the Elector and everything he stands for. To him it seems highly unlikely that the new Elector, Anden, could be anything but evil. June, however, sees things differently. Although she still hates the Republic for what they did to her family she believes it can be saved and made better with the help of a good Elector. The different ways Day and June see their world leads to them butting heads and this isn’t helped by Tess, who has feelings for Day, and Anden, who has feelings for June.

Jealousy, misunderstandings, and betrayal made this novel fast paced and kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I expected some of the twists but not all of them and the ending really punched me in the gut. I can’t wait to get Champion so I can know how it all ends.

Borrow or Buy: Buy!

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“The first time I kissed you…Well, that might as well have been my first kiss ever.”

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Man Crush Monday: Daniel “Day” Wing

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Source: Getty Images

To be honest it’s been a while since I read Legend and I haven’t had a chance to read Prodigy yet. However, I do remember liking Day and I also really liked that the author, Marie Lu, wrote the novel in Day and June’s, the protagonist, point of view.

Day has had a hard life when we first meet him in the novel. He’s living on the streets with his friend Tess and they’re just trying to survive. In the world of Legend kids have to take a test called Trials that basically determines the rest of their lives. Day was told he failed his test and was therefore sent away…somewhere. I won’t spoil it if you haven’t read it but basically the Republic where June and Day live is shady and Day ends up in the slums.

While trying to survive with Tess, and also on the run from the police for a crime he didn’t commit, Day also does everything he can to provide for his family even though they think he’s dead. Day is just such an all around good person and of course he’s also attractive. And he’s super smart and can kick butt.

I really liked him and I liked how and he and June worked together in the novel. Now, I want to go and read Prodigy. I’ll add it to my to-be-read list. If you haven’t read Legend yet definitely do so. If you’ve read the whole trilogy let me know what you think of it in the comments below.

*Note: The following quote is from the last book in the trilogy. It doesn’t really spoil anything but read at your own risk.*

Swoonworthy Line:

“You drive me insane, June. You’re the scariest, most clever, bravest person I know, and sometimes I can’t catch my breath because I’m trying so hard to keep up. There will never be another like you. You realize that, don’t you?”

Dreamcast: L. Joe

Book Review: Legend

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*This book is part of my POPSUGAR 2015 Reading Challenge*

Synopsis:

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

I’ve been hearing about this book for a while but there’s just so many dystopian novels and I resisted getting swept up into another trilogy.

But this one was definitely worth a read and worth all the hype. The novel is told in alternating point of views between the main characters, June and Day, which is interesting because they both have very different relationships with the Republic.

June is a prodigy who’s rich and has always led a comfortable life whereas Day is on the run, living in the poor sectors and just trying to help his family survive.

To be honest, I found their instant connection a little unbelievable but I still really liked their love story. More than that though, I liked the plot. The way June is so analytical and how she sees her world was really interesting and I loved Day’s character. I also really like Day’s friend, Tess, and I thought the character portrayal of Thomas and Commander Jameson were very well done.

Marie Lu structures this novel very well with the death of June’s brother, Metias, being the catalyst and how it connects to not only Day but also his little brother, Eden. I also like how we only scraped the surface of the bigger conflict between the Republic that June and Day live in and the Colonies that oppose them.

This was a pretty intense book for the first novel in the trilogy and I’m excited to see where this goes. Definitely a must read.

Borrow or Buy: Buy!

Stars:

5 stars

Favorite Line:

“Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything’s possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time.”

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